Saturday, November 04, 2006

Electric Bicycle Laws

I found this great info for those who ride or are conisdering riding electric bicycles. It includes a summary of the laws that apply to electric bicycles, followed by a list of the specific code related to various points of law pertaining to electric bicycle and electric mopeds in California. found this info at

Motorized bicycle/moped, tricycle, quadricycle and skateboard laws in California.
California Electric Bicycle Law Summary:

  • A driver's license is not required to drive an electric bicycle.
  • No insurance, registration or license plates are required.
  • Driver shall not operate a motorized bicycle if under 16 years of age.
  • Driver must wear a bicycle helmet.
  • Bicycle must have fully operative pedals.
  • Power output must not be more than 1000 Watt.
  • On level ground must not travel faster than 20mph on motors power only.
  • Electric motor must disengage when brakes are applied or when throttle is released.

California Moped Law Summary:
  • A driver's license or learners permit is required to drive a moped.
  • No insurance or yearly registration are required.
  • Driver must wear a DOT approved motorcycle helmet.
  • An electric moped is not required to have pedals.
  • On level ground must not travel faster than 30mph on motors power only.
In California operating a moped on public roads requires a drivers license or learning permit, license plate, and registration card. A moped license plate and registration card costs $6.00 and never expires or needs to be re-registered.

California DMV Motorized
Bicycle/Moped, Tricycle, Quadricycle, Skateboard
and Law Links

(All DMV links open in new windows)

Bike trails, 21207.5
Crossing at grade, 12509
Darkness, operation during, 12509
Dealer plates, 5034
Defined, 406
Equestrian trails, 21207.5
Equipment requirements, 24015
Freeways, operation on, 21960
Helmet, 27802
Instruction permit, 12509
License plates for, 5030-5039
Licensing requirements, 5030-5039
Lights, 21201.3
Modified, 23135
Passengers, 12509, 27800
Recreational trails, 21207.5
Registration exemption, 4020
Safety and equipment requirements, 24016
Vehicular crossings, on, 23330
Defined, 407

Defined, 407
Prohibitions, 21968

For more information on California's electric bicycle and moped laws view the:
California DMV Motorcycle Handbook


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Michael Smith said...

I came in to check out a pretty sweet ILE bag I'd been eyeing online. After emailing the 5 or 6 carriers in SF who carry that line, these guys were the only ones who actually responded. electric bikes nz

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